Fibromyalgia is a debilitating chronic condition that often involves long-term, widespread pain throughout the body most often focused in the muscles and nerves. Often experienced with Fibromyalgia are symptoms such as distinct fatigue, insomnia/sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition where the diagnosis primarily refers to the severe and prolonged tiredness or exhaustion that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions. Secondary symptoms for chronic fatigue often include body aches, headaches and depression.
The similar nature of these conditions has these two diagnoses often going hand in hand and/or are often interchanged depending on the pattern of manifesting symptoms. This often makes it challenging to effectively treat, which in turn is understandably frustrating for client. So, when we get asked if acupuncture can help with either Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue we confidently say yes but with the caveat that a holistic program should be the base of any program whether it includes acupuncture or not.
Like so many chronic conditions these conditions are not a simple one-to-one, cause and effect situation. To effectively address the personalized symptoms one may be experiencing we must look at the whole picture and then determine the appropriate strategy for optimal long-term quality of life. As a part of a holistic program based on personalized diagnosis acupuncture can be a great resource for those suffering from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue and, besides many personal case results, the research supporting this conclusion becomes more and more prevalent every day. (See references below).
The challenge in any holistic program is that it often takes time to provide optimal results. Conditions like these require a layered approach often including many integrated therapies. Therapies require consistency and time to provide optimal long-term results. This is mostly because we do not want to just address the symptoms we want to dissolve the condition as a whole. Effective personalized diagnosis leading to the appropriate treatment program plus a consistent time frame leads to the best possible results.
There may be times where acupuncture is not appropriate and so you want a practitioner who can substitute and integrate therapies to provide the optimal treatment each time you visit your practitioner. At the same time focus should be on developing a lifestyle that supports each individual in his or her own experience. This is where success rates go up, as our ability to incorporate a program within an individual’s lifestyle improves so do the results.
Understandably, this can be a challenge for the client in the beginning so having the ability to customize the program for each client and as best as one is able support them through the initial stages until there is traction on the condition is crucial. The benefit of this approach is that success won’t only be measured by management of the symptoms but slow and gradual improvement across one’s lifestyle.
Many individuals ask about herbs or supplements they have found via various advisory resources and the truth of the matter is that supplements will likely prove to be the primary source of a long-term solution. However, the most common mistake across the board is people taking supplements because someone mentioned it might be good. The truth is that with the appropriate diagnosis the precise supplements for each client’s specific condition can be identified which reduces the risk of side effects, regression or relapses, wasteful spending and most importantly dramatically improves outcomes. All supplements have a time and a place and we will always improve our investment when we have the right supplement for the appropriate condition.
It is important that we understand that no one can guarantee specific results. However, by customizing treatments, whether it include therapies like acupuncture, dietary therapy, supplements or lifestyle practices, if they are based on a sound diagnostic protocol we dramatically increase the chances of improved quality of life.
Excerpt from Fibromyalgia Research Article
“CONCLUSIONS: The limited amount of high-quality evidence suggests that real acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture for improving symptoms of patients with FMS. However, because this conclusion is based on a single high-quality study, further high-quality randomized trials are needed to provide more robust data on effectiveness.” Source: UK PubMed